Kindergarten through 3rd grade students return to in-person learning in Wake County as experts see surge in COVID-19 numbers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The largest school district in North Carolina has welcomed students back to class for in-person education.

Wake County Public School System welcomed back a portion of its kindergarten through third-grade students on Monday morning.

The back to school efforts come as North Carolina and many other states are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. In fact, the United States just reported its two highest daily case counts ever.

Inside a Wake County school as students prepare to go back for in-person instruction
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ABC11 got a look inside a school as more than 8,000 Wake County students get ready to return for in-person instruction Monday with strict health procedures in place.



Still, many parents think it's time their children get back to class. Plus, scientists do believe that young children are less prone to catching and experiencing the worst affects of COVID-19.

WATCH: Durham school mourns death of the first North Carolina child to die from COVID-19 with drive-thru memorial service

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Socially distanced mourners received white balloons that soared into the heavens minutes later, a gesture that honored the life of Aurea "Yoshi" Soto Morales. She's the first North Carolina child whose death in June is linked to COVID-19.



For WCPSS, in-person students will attend classes on a three-week rotating schedule. Plus, parents who did not feel comfortable sending their students back into the classroom were allowed to continue virtual learning.

This means school houses were not filled with the usual hustle and bustle of the first day of school. But educators said the back-to-school energy was still there.



"Online, we can see the work, but being present in that moment, and being able to feel the energy not just see it? There's no substitute for that. There's no substitute for seeing smiles, even behind masks," South Lakes Elementary School Prinicpal Kim Short said.

WATCH: Wake County Schools new bus procedures
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Wake County students going back to school for in-person instruction will have new bus procedures procedures must follow.



There are a lot of precautions in place at all WCPSS schools including health screenings, temperature checks and socially distant classroom setups.

Here are the COVID-19 screening procedures all students will undergo before returning to class
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Schools are putting safety procedures and precautions in place, taking students' temperature and asking them about possible symptoms.


Face coverings are required at all times--starting at the bus stop where students are supposed to wait at least six feet apart. Then on the bus, they're required to fill in the bus starting in the back and allowing for only 1 person per seat.

When they get to schools, students will be given a health screening that includes temperature checks.
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